With football season in full swing, we are getting excited to cheer on our favorite teams, and throw some awesome tailgate parties with family and friends to celebrate those impending wins. But hosting a game day bash can be tough work! So let us help you #lightenyourload on game day with our ultimate tailgate essentials, tips, and tricks!
Make Your Mark
Photo Credit: Jared Lee
Finding one tailgate among hundreds of others can be a challenge. Set up a festive flag or balloon at yours so that friends will have no problem finding you in a crowd!
Photo Credit: SPORTSSM
Keep your tailgate menu items limited to fun finger foods that are easy to eat in any setting! Classics like burgers, hot dogs, and shish kebabs are crowd favorites, but try making tasty mini-sliders instead of full-sized burgers to cut back on cooking time!
Photo Credit: Time for Family
We also love these adorable Caprese Salad Skewers for a handheld twist on the classic side.
Photo Credit: Plant Food Fabulous
This might seem like a no-brainer, but doing as much of the food and drink preparation in advance will save you tons of time and keep you stress-free at your tailgate. Slice burger toppings like tomato, onion, lettuce, and cheese the night before the big day, and package neatly to make serving a breeze. You can even make your slider patties ahead of time and wrap them neatly in plastic wrap—just store them in the fridge or freezer until the big day!
Photo Credit: DJournal
Don’t let a little rain hinder your fun—always be prepared for inclement weather! Pack extra rain jackets or ponchos and an umbrella or two to keep everyone warm and dry. Pop-up tents like this one are awesome for rainy days.
Get in on the Games
Photo Credit: TeamBonding
The teams don’t have to be the only ones in on the fun; forge a little friendly competition at your tailgate with games like flag football, bean bag toss, or even Giant Jenga!
Make Cleanup a Breeze
Photo Credit: Life Hacker
Your green household habits don’t stop when you leave the house—bring along two different types or colors of trash bags to your tailgate (one for garbage, and one for recyclables) so that you and your guests can continue doing your part for the environment without a hassle. Make sure to pack plenty of re-sealable bags and containers for any leftovers, as well as an extra plastic container so you can just pop any dirty dishes into it once everyone finishes eating. Lastly, bring a machine-wash safe tablecloth for your tabletop so that once game day is over, you can toss it into the washing machine with a little detergent and a stain-fighting 4-in-1 Booster Pac!
Just in Case
Photo Credit: Audia Chevrolet
Always pack a “Just-In-Case Kit” filled with things like first aid necessities, plenty of sunscreen, hand sanitizer, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, and even permanent markers (for labeling cups and leftover bags). You never want to be without these necessary items if an unexpected issue arises.
Boozy Ice Pops
Photo Credit: Bakers Royale
No tailgate is complete without a few adult-friendly treats. Try mixing a little bit of your favorite liquor or cordial into one of our favorite homemade popsicle recipes! Be careful not to use too much alcohol, or your icy treats won’t freeze properly—a good rule of thumb is to use about 1 part alcohol to every 6 parts juice or mixer. Besides tasting wonderful, these adorable ice pops don’t require much cleanup at all!
Photo Credit: CNet
Keep the party going with some fun tunes. Portable speakers like these are affordable, hold a charge for up to 7 hours, and are even waterproof. They’re perfect for an outdoor party!
Photo Credit: Sunglass Warehouse
Stay organized all day long with a laminated checklist or a dry-erase board. Keep track of all your materials so you’re never without any of your tailgate essentials!